From making pepper grinders to flying cars then Peugeot has done it all.

Their business started more than 200 years ago and after a number of changes over the years they are still going strong being part of a conglomerate which builds cars right around the world.

Things started in France in 1810 with a steel foundry which made kitchen equipment and hand tools followed by bicycles. The first internal combustion car was built in 1890 and the rest they say is history. 

Millions of cars have been built and looking to the future Peugeot put together a flying car (pictured) which featured in the 2017 movie Blade Runner 2049 and which was known as a Spinner.

While shall we say normal cars are their bread and butter there is a section of the company which still makes pepper and salt grinders, plus corkscrews, cutlery and tableware and they still continue to manufacture bicycles.

Beginning this year Peugeot which is part of the PSA group merged with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles giving them a number of brands including Citroen, Jeep, Maserati, Lancia, Alfa Romeo and Vauxhall under the name of Stellantis, making it the sixth-largest automaker in the world behind Toyota and Volkswagen employing 300,000 employees in 130 countries and manufacturing in 30 countries.

In fact Peugeot have just got better and  better over the last 10 years.

For example their 3008, which I have been driving of late, is a pretty magnificent car and it is typical of how good they are. In 2017 it was the European Car of the Year and without doubt one of the best SUVs around.

The 3008 ranks as the most produced car in France with 260,000 units in France in 2018. Some 1,000 3008s are produced every day, seven days a week, at the PSA Group’s Sochaux plant, which has manufactured more than 23 million cars in its history.

There are five trims, five engines, a three year warranty and prices which go from £27,500 to £47,200. It is stylish from top to bottom, both practical and good to drive with an excellent ride which ignores the pot holes and other bumps in the road. It’s good looking with an excellent five seat cabin, well built with excellent engines. And should you need something a little bigger than go for the 5008 which has the same platform as the 3008.

Both have plush comfortable cabins with top of the range materials and the i-Cockpit digital dashboard which is easy to get used to. Like other Peugeots, the 3008 has the small almost square steering wheel which you look over, rather than through.

There are five trim levels – the Active Premium, Allure, Allure Premium, GT and GT Premium and even the Active Premium comes with keyless start, dual-zone climate control and CarPlay and Android Auto. The 10-inch infotainment screen comes one grade up and with that you get better resolution. On the engine options there are a 1.2-litre petrol with 128bhp, a 1.6-litre petrol with 178bhp, or a 1.5-litre diesel with 128bhp. There is the eight-speed auto but a six-speed manual comes with the entry-level model.

All models come with a decent amount of kit, with 12.3-inch digital dials, two-zone climate control and rear parking sensors all included, and the infotainment touchscreen is standard across the range. Allure models get 18-inch alloys, sat-nav and blind-spot detection among the extended kit list, while the GT Line gets a sportier bodykit and even more standard equipment.

You can’t have four wheel drive on the 3008 models. Peugeot has a Grip Control system which does most of the things 4WD can do, apart from vicious off-roading. There is a rotary controller to the centre console which allows you to select the driving mode – snow, gravel, mud or tarmac.

On the miles per gallon front the 1.5 litre diesel engine would give you more than 60 mpg emitting 122g/km of CO2. But the petrol engines are the future which give you between 48mpg and 52mpg.

At 520 litres, the Peugeot 3008 has the best boot space among its rivals and every 3008 requires servicing every 12 months or 10,000 miles.